WARNING: This list contains SPOILERS for the premiere of Krypton
Krypton has arrived, and brought plenty of Superman Easter Eggs and DC Comics connections with it. From the earliest looks at the Syfy series, it was clear that the Krypton TV show was made in Man of Steel‘s image, offering a similar treatment to the ancient homeworld of Superman. Now that the premiere episode has aired, even more of the inspirations, homages, and DC Comics mythology can be spotted. Krypton may be more than a Superman prequel, but its creators are rooting their story in the history of DC’s greatest superhero… with some changes of their own to keep things fresh. Which means fans won’t want to miss any of the inside jokes, references, or teased connections to the Superman mythos.
To make sure that every viewer spots the Easter Eggs and more subtle bits of major DC lore – like the new version of Brainiac looming over the future of the House of El – we’re breaking them all down as more are spotted. So with one last SPOILER warning before we begin, let’s look at the best Easter Eggs and comic connections in the premiere of Krypton.
12. The Remains of Wegthor, Moon of Krypton
The establishing shots of the planet Krypton may not seem all that important, beyond creating a memorable backdrop for the show’s title card. But from the very first frames, the makers of this Superman prequel story show their dedication to the original DC Comics history of Superman’s birth world. Well, more accurately, the massive rocks that form a ring around the planet’s circumference.
The debris orbiting Krypton isn’t just random space rocks, but the remains of Wegthor, one of the planet’s moons. The reason for its destruction has been tweaked from an accidental collision with an experimental Kryptonian rocket to a terrorist attack over the years. But whatever the cause of the disaster in the TV show’s version of Krypton’s history, the bases are covered. Just as they were in the opening scenes of the Man of Steel movie, with a destroyed Wegthor just as prominent in the planet’s orbit.
11. The ‘Bottle City’ of Kandor
The approach of honoring the past while creating something with its own identity and style continues into the urban setting of the show, as well. A title card introduces audiences to the main setting of Kandor City: a densely-populated city surrounded by… well, not much else. That’s no accident either, since the large protective dome over Kandor appears to keep the city in habitable, where the planet outside of the “bubble” is as harsh as an alien world can get. But the Easter Egg is in the city itself.
In the comics, this metropolis is most likely to be referred to as “The Bottle City of Kandor,” one of the only population centers to survive the destruction of Krypton. That may sound impossible, but it’s thanks to Brainiac for shrinking Kandor, and placing it inside a glass bottle to add to his collection. The domed city is just one of several visible on Krypton’s surface, but the reference is still appreciated (especially with the brief glimpse inside Brainiac’s ship revealing several miniature skylines).
10. The Symbol of The House of El
Most Superman fans will tell you that back on Krypton, Kal-El’s family was one of the most respected, revered, and well-regarded. But Krypton wastes little time in showing the “true” origins of the House of El– actually, the potential end of the House, if the Voice of Rao and Kryptonian Council have their way. Thanks to Val-El, the House is stricken of its name, rank, and cost of arms: the famous ‘S’ glyph that once stood simply for “Superman” in the hero’s first comic appearance.
This time around, the writers of Krypton have returned to the idea that the ‘S’ isn’t just a Kryptonian glyph, or symbol, but their ancestral sigil. It’s the same idea adopted for Man of Steel, but one that Mark Wait, the writer of Superman: Birthright – a modern origin that influenced Snyder’s film – tried to replace. In Birthright, the symbol for ‘Hope’ wasn’t used by a single family but any who embodied that same idea. The movie folded those ideas into one, but it remains to be seen if Krypton’s symbol has any greater meaning.
9. The Voice of Rao’s Robes
For all its reverence for the roots of Superman and Krypton’s history, the TV show is also adding a LOT of new story elements. And none is more pronounced than the apparent religious authority known as the ‘Voice of Rao.’ The figure dressed in golden and white robes, and wearing a multiple-faced, golden mask seems to be the head of Krypton’s relatively new theocracy. The role of the Voice of Rao will surely be explored in future episodes, but their robes are already one of the best Easter Egg finds for comic book fans.
The robes are virtually covered in script, but it’s all a match for the actual Kryptonese language as established in DC Comics. The Man of Steel invented an original written language, but Krypton seems to be adopting the same symbol-for-letter substitution. The robes are hard to read in action, but everything from title cards to background signage can be translated one letter at a time.
8. A Familiar Ancient DC Warrior
When the fearsome leader of Kandor’s military forces was revealed ahead of the show’s release, it was her name that stood out most to comic book fans: Alura Zod (yes, as in that Zod, born a generation from where the show begins). The character shared a name with Supergirl’s own mother, Alura In-Ze, but by the time Krypton premiered any potential confusion had been sorted with a re-naming.
Now, Kandor City’s Military Guild is led by Jayna-Zod. But that’s probably not why the actress will seem familiar. Ann Ogbomo has already portrayed a DC Comics character in both Wonder Woman and Justice League. Making the leap from Philippus of the Amazons to Jayna of the Sagitari isn’t all that difficult – just drop some of the famous Amazonian mercy. As likely grandmother to the infamous General Zod, it’s clear his strength runs in the family.
7. The Black Zero
The namedrop “Black Zero” is both a pleasant surprise and all but expected, as one of the few factions or storylines of Krypton to truly break out and into the mainstream DC conversation. Originally, ‘Black Zero’ was a supervillain who believed himself responsible for destroying Krypton, claiming he had been hired to do it, revealing the planet wouldn’t have exploded without his intervention.
That turned out not to be the case, but the idea of a ‘Black Zero’ tied to Krypton’s destruction stuck. The name was re-used by John Byrne and Mike Mignola as a terrorist group opposing the genetic manipulation of Krypton’s elite, a more aggressive version of the liberation movement introduced in Krypton. Black Zero was also re-purposed as the name of the ship first used to imprison General Zod and his loyal soldiers, and later wielded by them in their attack on Earth in Man of Steel.
6. Dev-Em of Krypton
In the training scene that introduced the Sagitari and Jayna-Zod, fans also get their first look at her daughter – and likely mother of General Zod – Lyta-Zod. The scene demonstrates the brutal strength and discipline of everyone involved, but there’s also a famous Kryptonian name thrown into the mix. The name of Lyta’s “intended,” a Kryptonian young man by the name of Dev-Em.
It may lack the instant recognition, infamy, or star power of ‘ZOD,’ but to fans of the Man of Steel movie and its prequel comic, Dev-Em is a major player. Named for an earlier juvenile delinquent on Krypton, the Dev-Em as created by writer (and Krypton producer) David S. Goyer was the attempted murderer of Kara Zor-El – otherwise known as Supergirl. No need to worry about conflict with The CW’s Supergirl series though: this version of Kara and Dev-Em existed thousands of years before Kal-El was even born.
5. The Blend of Both Superman Movies
As we mentioned at the start, the shared DNA between Zack Snyder’s updated vision of a grand, ancient, but deeply troubled civilization and the world of Krypton is hard to miss. Whether to minimize confusion over Krypton being an actual prequel story to the film, or step away from an already-divisive film franchise, the version of Krypton to hit the airwaves has been tweaked.
The command key which unlocks Val-El’s lost fortress of Solitude shared the shape and function of the Man of Steel version, only now created in transparent, crystal-like stone. The city of Kandor reads closer to the layers stone and organic lines of Man of Steel‘s Krypton, but outside is the frozen climate highlighted in the original Superman: The Movie (1978). The end result is a combination of both origin films for the Man of Steel, combined into one new version of Krypton (an elegant move on the creators’ part).
4. The House of Vex
What may be the most curious connection between the prequel story of Krypton and the Man of Steel film – and a hint the two stories were once more directly, if unofficially linked – comes with Seg-El’s assigned mate. After being informed by Daron-Vex that Seg has earned a new rank, and an invitation into his family by binding with Daron’s daughter, Nyssa, the soon-to-be married couple head off to witness the child that will be born from their combined DNA.
They won’t have the child themselves, since Krypton is using the same genetic birthing technology introduced in the comics of the 1990s (the “Genesis Chamber” name is all Man of Steel). But the predictions of their son, Cor-Vex, may not be as accurate as one might think. After all, a Car-Vex appeared as one of Zod’s loyal soldiers on Man of Steel, played by actress Samantha Jo. Coincidence? Or a more explicit link between TV show and film that was blurred by changing the gender and vowel…? The good news is that Seg-El will have another famous child, no matter what.
3. The Classic Superman Theme
It’s almost impossible these days to make a Superman TV show, movie, cartoon, or any other piece of media without paying tribute to one of Hollywood’s greatest composers, John Williams. As the man who created the iconic Superman Theme for the 1978 film, Williams has seen the handful of notes he assembled to announce the Man of Steel twisted, reimagined, and homaged more times than can be counted.
In the first episode of Krypton, viewers have two different opportunities to catch the famous theme heightening the action taking place onscreen. First, it can be heard playing when Seg-El is shown Val-El’s Fortress of Solitude by his mother (performed with a serious Blade Runner vibe). And finally, as the camera rises for the episode’s final shot to reveal Seg clutching the cape of his superhero grandson whilst standing on the symbol he will make one of the most recognized images on Earth.
2. The Fortress of Solitude’s Famous Statues
The Fortress itself is hard to dissect for further Easter Eggs just yet (other than a strange plant in a glass case that has been cited as a Black Mercy… despite not looking anything like one). What does stand out, however, is the massive statue depicting a man and a woman with arms outstretched, raising either the planet Krypton or its famous sun, Rao, above them (more likely it’s the planet).
At this point, such an inclusion is as pivotal as finding a Bat-Computer inside of Bruce Wayne’s superhero cave. Traditionally, Superman (or Supergirl) has included a statue of his Kryptonian mother and father, raising a scale model of the planet Krypton between them – fashioned from ice or crystal by Superman himself as a tribute to the parents who saved him from their planet’s destruction. In Krypton, it’s a nod to the founders of the House of El, but… something tells us Seg-El’s son and grandson will keep the tradition alive in their own way.
1. Luthorello Cigarettes
Finally, not every Easter Egg needs to mean big things for the coming story or the larger Superman mythology. A though perfectly summed up in the arrival of Adam Strange, a time traveler from modern America. For starters, he must point out to Seg-El that the ‘D’ on his hat signifies the Detroit Tigers, and not a mysterious Kryptonian Guild (which may also be a nod to DC boss Geoff Johns, who has seen a similar tribute to his hometown of Detroit from comic artists).
The real joke goes to Adam’s pack of cigarettes – itself a rare sight in superhero TV shows. It isn’t the tobacco fans should catch, but the brand: Luthorellos. That’s as obvious and throwaway a reference to Lex Luthor as you’re likely to find, which means it may be the best one in the entire episode. Apparently, Lex diversifies his business into every industry in the future Earth of Krypton‘s universe.
So there you have it, our breakdown of each and every Easter Egg, comic book nod, and hidden detail in Krypton‘s first episode. If you’ve spotted anything we’ve missed, or have questions unanswered, let us know in the comments!